Forum OpenACS Q&A: Response to Article on ACS x Zope
7. Ecommerce happens to be one of the areas where an RDBMs is a REQUIREMENT. I see nothing in in the Zope architecture that would prevent somebody competent in both RDBMs design and Zope from re-implementing the ACS ecommerce module in Zope (the same may also be true of other modules but I haven't looked). "
It has struck me many times and I have commented on this in zope mailing lists - Zope's interface to RDBMS is so good, yet so incomplete. You have a wonderful abstraction layer which easily allows you to move a zope application from Oracle to PostgreSQL (or write support for both in the same applciation) - so good, yet support for different RDBMS is so bad, Zope provides 'official' support for Oracle, Sybase and ODBC (Win32 only), relying on third party products for PostgreSQL, MySQL. No Linux ODBC, no Informix, no DB2, no Interbase ... It seems to me that Zope could distinguish itself by supporting 'all' the RDBMS's likely to be used. Then you could write a Zope app which was portable across any environment.
" 8. Unfortunately there seems to be little overlap and little appreciation of the importance of an RDBMs for ecommerce apps in Zopeland so I am doubtful that this will happen there soon."
There are Zopers with RDBMS background (like me) but we are in a minority. It is hard to believe that people would seriously try to build an ecommerce application using the Zope ODBMS but they have. Whether the idea of mapping the Zope ODBMS onto an RDBMS ( someone has just releases this with the ODBMS running in Interbase) is the best or worst of all worlds I'm not sure.
I have been working with a client who has gone for ACS over Zope mainly because of the lack of ecommerce on RDBMS in Zope. Yet it seems to me that Zope has so much potential, and the Zope products which don't need RDBMS are so attractive, that it would be an ideal platform to incorporate both.
I have done some work with Zope and RDBMS and I've found it powerful and effective.
Perhaps after I have worked with the ACS ecommerce product I may be able to comment more about implementing it in Zope.